“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, volunteer fire departments across my community have struggled with fundraising and balancing their budgets. It is important to remember that volunteer fire departments rely on municipal funds and fundraising to maintain their operation and purchase the tools necessary to save lives,” said Fitzpatrick. “Our volunteer departments have been facing immense budgetary and manpower challenges that predated COVID-19. Now, these departments are tasked with the extremely consequential mission of protecting lives and protecting property with one hand tied behind their back. It is imperative that we give the necessary supplies and tools to our volunteer responders to ensure when we call 9-1-1, they can do their job. I am happy to see the volunteer departments in Bristol and Chalfont received these potentially lifesaving funds.”
The Bristol Third District Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 was awarded $357,480 through the 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The mission of the SAFER grant program is to enhance the ability of recipients to attain and maintain 24-hour fire department staffing and to better assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. This year, FEMA will be awarding $350 million fire departments across America to assist fire departments and volunteer support groups to expand the number of firefighters available to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public.
The Chalfont Fire Company No. 1 was awarded $198,863.64 through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The purpose of the AFG Program is to award grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. The FY 2019 AFG Program will award another $315 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.